Companies operating within the utilities segment are unique compared to other enterprises in that they supply a product that everyone needs. Whether it’s water for bathing, electricity for lighting, or natural gas for heating, utilities are essential to modern life, requiring everyone to pay for them. While customers can make payments using a variety of options such as online, by check, and using credit or debit cards, approximately 15.6 million adults held no bank account in 2015, forcing utilities to accept payments via physical currency.[1]

According to a survey by InComm, 39% of general consumers use cash to pay bills, and 46% paid their utilities with cash and coins. The sheer number of consumers paying their electric, water, and gas bills with hard currency makes it essential that utility companies implement an efficient and automated system to handle their cash receipts.

Utility companies face elevated risks when accepting cash payments. Receiving large influxes of cash at specific times of the month, such as when bills are due, can increase the cash exposure to a utility, putting them at risk. In addition, handling cash manually can lead to inefficiencies and human error, which are exacerbated during times of peak cash volumes.  However, an automated system that accurately counts and secures cash receipts can streamline processes so that utilities can become more efficient and effective in servicing their customers.  A key component of an effective and reliable cash management system is a smart safe.

Tidel is a leading manufacturer of smart safes that automate and simplify the cash handling processes of numerous verticals, including utilities. Smart safes not only secure deposited cash, they also provide an effective and convenient way to record cash/coin deposits, while generating a complete audit trail of all transactions. Smart safes minimize the risk of loss due to human error or intentional malfeasance. And since there is less time being devoted to counting and securing large sums of money, employees can focus on supporting customers and expediting the bill paying process.

Utilities offer their diverse customer-set a number of different methods to make payments, and many of the nation’s 9 million unbanked households still rely on settling their monthly bills using physical currency.[2]  Automating cash transactions with smart safe technology optimizes operations, secures deposits, streamlines reporting, and accelerates the shift closeout process. Tidel systems remove the risk associated with the manual handling of cash, and offer utility companies an effective and reliable solution to automate their cash management processes.

To learn more about Tidel’s innovative smart safes tailored for the utilities market, please visit our website today.